Sunday, February 24, 2013
Sylamore Trail 50K 2013 Edition
My goal was to just finish the damn thing. The Sylamore Trail is never that "damn thing", but that was the goal. I love this trail. My heart felt like I was cheating on the Sylamore Trail when I had to admit to myself that Mount Magazine may be more beautiful. This is the grand race of the year though. It will always capture my heart!
My hope was to just finish around the time I finished last year (9:28.27). Goal met with a time of 9:29.11 Wow, I don't know how I do that! LOL
Spirits were low as snow flurries begun before the start of the race. The snow flurries were welcome, but concerns about my lack of training loomed large in my brain. This is where the wonder of trail runners steps forward to give a girl hope. I met Jerry Bailey from northwest AR. He has such an easy manner, he helped put my nerves at ease. Then Kevin King reminded me that I just had to get from one aid station to the next, just get to the next aid station. That helped too. Hugs from Chrissy and Nicholas always serve as heartwarming soul lifters!
The race was off, I met a few more people as we meandered up the road to the creek crossing. Randy and Bobbie Davidson started this race many years ago. It was a pleasure to meet them as we made our way to the trail.
The creek crossing was uneventful. The miles ticked by as predicted. The warm potatoes at the first aid station were welcome nourishment. Bobbie and I played cat and mouse along the trail. She would power up hill, I would run the downhills.
Seeing beloved friends at Gunner Pool aid station sure helped lift my spirits and warm the cold day. I got to the turn around, Barkshed, just seconds ahead of Bobbie. I had to visit the ladies room, and she was gone. I never saw her again. WOW! I'm impressed and honored to share the trail with this powerful woman!
The crew at the turn around are always a welcome sight. I enjoy hugs all around and then scampering back down the trail toward home. Deb Baker was sweeping the trail. She caught up to me shortly before Blanchard Springs. It was so nice to have company. Deb is a super fast runner recovering from injury. She is easy to talk to and helped the miles fly by.
My knees were hurting and I didn't have the air power for the uphills so I walked much more during the last section than planned. It was time to pull out the power tools to get this race over with, the music! While listening to my butt kicking playlist I couldn't walk... so then the running started happening again :) Before long it was time to cross the creek once again, one mile to the finish line. It felt so good on the legs to be in that cold water. I wanted to just stay there.
Deb took a picture that I just love! I'm glad there is a smile left in me at mile 30 :)
When hitting the pavement we run the rest of the way in. Whew, I was glad it was done! finisher awards were different this year, a beer glass with the Sylamore Trail 50K logo. Very cool, works well for root beer too!
While nervous about this race, while hurting during the run, I have to say I LOVE this race! It is on my must do list every year. That may get harder as this lil race becomes more popular. It filled in 6 hours on opening day for the 2013 race. So..... I will run it as long as I can get in:)
Great friends, great sights, snow flurries, creek crossings, lots of alone time with God with buffet tables every 5 miles. What more could a girl want, maybe a hug or six.